Quantcast

replacing door light switch on an amana freezer

Help Support House Repair Talk:

LMHmedchem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
52
Reaction score
2
Hello,

I have an Amana freezer with a broken light switch and I'm having difficulty finding the correct replacement part. As far as I can tell, this is a round plunger style momentary switch.

Reading from the old switch, there are two lines of specs,

5A 125VAC
25A 250VAC

The switch appears to have been made by Ucinite, which doesn't appear to be in business any more. I think that the size is 15mm, but I'm not sure where to measure.

There are a variety of switches available such as,

uxcell Refrigerator Door Light Switch 15mm Momentary Switch PS-KA5 AC 250V 1A

but this looks like 1A 250V, which doesn't make sense. Almost none of the switches I have found have any real specifications listed. How am I supposed to find the right part if the listings don't give the size or the rating?

There are some other listings like,

Refrigerator Door Light Switch 15mm Momentary Fridge Switch NC AC 250V

but this doesn't give the rated amps and the delivery date could be a couple of months out.

Can anyone help me with this of should I just buy a flashlight?

LMHmedchem
 

pjones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
283
Reaction score
93
Location
Vancouver Canada BC
Looks like you found the same item on both amazon and eBay. They are both 1 amp rated and have the same description with the same typos and missed words. Although the item listing says that it is a normally closed switch where the description on the other I believe mentioned normally open? Maybe I read that wrong...

Send a picture of the one you have and how it’s installed. May be able to help you find a solution. How many watts of lighting do you have in there and at what voltage?
 

LMHmedchem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
52
Reaction score
2
Looks like you found the same item on both amazon and eBay. They are both 1 amp rated and have the same description with the same typos and missed words. Although the item listing says that it is a normally closed switch where the description on the other I believe mentioned normally open? Maybe I read that wrong...

Send a picture of the one you have and how it’s installed. May be able to help you find a solution. How many watts of lighting do you have in there and at what voltage?
I will send a picture this afternoon.

I think that this switch would work,

uxcell Refrigerator Door Light Switch 12mm Momentary Fridge Switch Normally Open

The specs say 10A 125V. I assume that it is alright to use a switch that is rated for more amps than the original. Is that correct? The plunger depth is 12mm and the original is 15mm. I don't see how that could be a problem.

The original switch was spring clip retained and was connected with heavily insulated female tab disconnect wire connectors. The terminals look like 4.8 x 0.8mm. I will have to replace the connectors since they are not in good shape. The bulb I have in there now is a 40W replacement LED so only pulls 4.5W.

LMHmedchem
 

pjones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
283
Reaction score
93
Location
Vancouver Canada BC
I will send a picture this afternoon.

I think that this switch would work,

uxcell Refrigerator Door Light Switch 12mm Momentary Fridge Switch Normally Open

The specs say 10A 125V. I assume that it is alright to use a switch that is rated for more amps than the original. Is that correct? The plunger depth is 12mm and the original is 15mm. I don't see how that could be a problem.

The original switch was spring clip retained and was connected with heavily insulated female tab disconnect wire connectors. The terminals look like 4.8 x 0.8mm. I will have to replace the connectors since they are not in good shape. The bulb I have in there now is a 40W replacement LED so only pulls 4.5W.

LMHmedchem
That is still a normally open switch. Are you sure that is what you need?

If the door fully depresses the plunger then length shouldn’t matter to you much.

There is no harm increasing your amperage rating a little if it’s controlling the line voltage of the light bulb, but if it’s using a normally open switch to control the light then I’m assuming that switch is actually controlling a relay in the circuit somewhere. The lowest voltage that control circuit would be is 24V so either way you should be ok with higher amp rating (unless they have done something abnormal like controlling it though CanBus... but the description of your existing switch suggests it’s not).

... just rechecked your original post. Increasing from 5 amps to 10 amps is not a problem.

I’m assuming because you are referring to that voltage rating that you are using 120V to power this bulb?

If the 120 voltage assumption is correct and your fixture is rated for a max 100watt bulb then you should be able to get away with a 1amp rated switch, so long as the single fixture is the only load on that switch. It doesn’t matter what bulb is in there now it matters what someone might put in later. If the fixture is rated for 100watts max then plan for the day someone puts one in or you can risk fire.
 
Last edited:

LMHmedchem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
52
Reaction score
2
That is still a normally open switch. Are you sure that is what you need?
If I understand a "normally open" plunger switch, the circuit would be open with the plunger is depressed and closed when the plunger is released. When closed, the door keeps the plunger depressed resulting in the circuit being open and the light off. When the door opens, the plunger is released and the circuit closes turning on the light.

what is meant by the “normally open” switching function


I am assuming that this is what the switch does but if the switch is actually operating a relay somewhere then who knows what the wiring diagram looks like. How would I tell?

If the door fully depresses the plunger then length shouldn’t matter to you much.
I think this is the case.

I’m assuming because you are referring to that voltage rating that you are using 120V to power this bulb?
Yes, this is a 120v appliance, and the original bulb was a normal 120v light bulb.

If the 120 voltage assumption is correct and your fixture is rated for a max 100watt bulb then you should be able to get away with a 1amp rated switch, so long as the single fixture is the only load on that switch. It doesn’t matter what bulb is in there now it matters what someone might put in later. If the fixture is rated for 100watts max then plan for the day someone puts one in or you can risk fire.
If I use the 10A rated switch I linked to in the last post, that should give protection in the event that a higher wattage bulb is used later? I am assuming that since the listing says that the switch is rated 10A 125V that the listing is accurate, which is a bit of a leap these days. This freezer is actually more than 45 years old, so I don't know how many more bulbs will be going in.

LMHmedchem
 

pjones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
283
Reaction score
93
Location
Vancouver Canada BC
If I understand a "normally open" plunger switch, the circuit would be open with the plunger is depressed and closed when the plunger is released. When closed, the door keeps the plunger depressed resulting in the circuit being open and the light off. When the door opens, the plunger is released and the circuit closes turning on the light.

what is meant by the “normally open” switching function


I am assuming that this is what the switch does but if the switch is actually operating a relay somewhere then who knows what the wiring diagram looks like. How would I tell?

I think this is the case.

Yes, this is a 120v appliance, and the original bulb was a normal 120v light bulb.

If I use the 10A rated switch I linked to in the last post, that should give protection in the event that a higher wattage bulb is used later? I am assuming that since the listing says that the switch is rated 10A 125V that the listing is accurate, which is a bit of a leap these days. This freezer is actually more than 45 years old, so I don't know how many more bulbs will be going in.

LMHmedchem
Unless marked otherwise then a switch position is typically rated for its contacts status when no outside influences are being applied to it. That would be with the plunger fully extended in this case, or in the case of an electric relay it would be in its de-energized position. Without seeing what you have or a wiring diagram or specs, I can only assume based off how you describe it that you need a NC (normally closed) contact position. It is typically marked with NO or NC to indicate it’s position so you may get lucky and find that on your failed switch.

Increasing your switch amperage rating will not allow you to increase the circuit amperage unless the rest of the circuit is also rated for that increased amperage. That includes the wire, fixture, and terminals. With that said if it is a simple light switch setup then it won’t harm or help you in any way, it’s just convenient because it will give you more options if you include the higher amperage switches into your search selection.

You would need a wiring diagram to see how it operates or use a DMM to check its status.
 

Jeff Handy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
635
Reaction score
177
Location
Chicago suburbs
There should be an info sticker or plate on the inside of your freezer, showing model number.
Or maybe you still have your owner’s manual?
Usually on the side wall, or could be on the door.

You can look up the parts list on Google, or find the complete manual with parts list, just by searching for Amana with that model number.
 

LMHmedchem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
52
Reaction score
2
There should be an info sticker or plate on the inside of your freezer, showing model number. Or maybe you still have your owner’s manual? Usually on the side wall, or could be on the door.

You can look up the parts list on Google, or find the complete manual with parts list, just by searching for Amana with that model number.
I have looked a bit for a serial or model number but don't see anything visible. Maybe the sticker is covered with frost. The freezer is at least 45 years old so I am not sure whether or not places like RepairClinic will have a parts list for something that old. Later today, I will try to pull it out from the wall and see if there is a wiring diagram on the back that I can take a picture of. I was hoping to be able to get enough information from the switch to replace it, Here is a picture of the switch,

light_switch.jpg

You would need a wiring diagram to see how it operates or use a DMM to check its status.
I used a DMM to do a continuity test on the switch. The switch works well enough to test but one of the terminals is broken and almost off. The circuit is complete when the plunger is up (when the freezer door would be open). I thought that meant it is normally open, but maybe I have that backwards since the circuit is closed in the undisturbed position. The switch looks like a single pole (at least there are only two terminals).

I found this switch,

Kelvinator 297243800 Door Switch ($13)

From the picture (providing the picture is correct) the switch is 5A 125VAC but there is nothing that says if it is NO or NC. I just think that these vendors should provide accurate specifications for the parts they are selling.

LMHmedchem
 
Last edited:

pjones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
283
Reaction score
93
Location
Vancouver Canada BC
I have looked a bit for a serial or model number but don't see anything visible. Maybe the sticker is covered with frost. The freezer is at least 45 years old so I am not sure whether or not places like RepairClinic will have a parts list for something that old. Later today, I will try to pull it out from the wall and see if there is a wiring diagram on the back that I can take a picture of. I was hoping to be able to get enough information from the switch to replace it, Here is a picture of the switch,

View attachment 23386

I used a DMM to do a continuity test on the switch. The switch works well enough to test but one of the terminals is broken and almost off. The circuit is complete when the plunger is up (when the freezer door would be open). I thought that meant it is normally open, but maybe I have that backwards since the circuit is closed in the undisturbed position. The switch looks like a single pole (at least there are only two terminals).

I found this switch,

Kelvinator 297243800 Door Switch ($13)

From the picture (providing the picture is correct) the switch is 5A 125VAC but there is nothing that says if it is NO or NC. I just think that these vendors should provide accurate specifications for the parts they are selling.

LMHmedchem
If contacts have continuity when door is open then that would be NC contacts.
 

Blue Jay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
298
Reaction score
26
Ok with the switch out of the circuit is the light on?

If you touch the 2 wires together does the light come on?

If both are true then the switch with the plunger would be N/C (normally closed).

With a 40W bulb that would pull 0.33 Watts, a 100W bulb will only pull 0.83 Watts doubt if you could get any thing bigger than a 100W (or would want to) bulb in it's place so the switch you found would work.
 

LMHmedchem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
52
Reaction score
2
Ok with the switch out of the circuit is the light on?

If you touch the 2 wires together does the light come on?

If both are true then the switch with the plunger would be N/C (normally closed).

With a 40W bulb that would pull 0.33 Watts, a 100W bulb will only pull 0.83 Watts doubt if you could get any thing bigger than a 100W (or would want to) bulb in it's place so the switch you found would work.
This is the closest thing I can find to what I have,

uxcell Refrigerator Door Light Switch ($8)

This switch is rated for 3A instead of the 5A on the original. This is normally closed (SPST NC) and appears to be about the right dimensions. There are any number of refrigerator door light switches available but the vast majority of the listings have no specifications. I still have not been able to find a model number anywhere to look up the part number that way. Since I am now using a 4W LED replacement bulb, it seems as if I should be able to get away with a switch that is rated for 3A, as long as I don't forget at some point in the future and put a regular bulb in.

Today I tried connecting the wires directly and the light does come on, confirming that the switch is NC. I hooked up the old switch with some alligator clips and it still works. I used super glue to repair the broken plastic around one of the terminals and then added some more glue to make sure it is solid. I replaced the female connectors and reinstalled the old switch using some heat shrink to add to the terminal insulation and reinforce the crimp. The light is working now and everything seems to be ok. Before I reinstalled the molding the holds the switch, I left the door open with the light on for an hour to make sure that the switch was not heating up or anything like that.

I would still like to replace the switch. If the one linked to above is good, I can use that. Otherwise I am still looking for a 5A@125VAC SPST NC momentary plunger switch if anyone knows where to get one. It would be nice if sites like RepairClinic had email so I could ask someone.

LMHmedchem
 

pjones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
283
Reaction score
93
Location
Vancouver Canada BC
This is the closest thing I can find to what I have,

uxcell Refrigerator Door Light Switch ($8)

This switch is rated for 3A instead of the 5A on the original. This is normally closed (SPST NC) and appears to be about the right dimensions. There are any number of refrigerator door light switches available but the vast majority of the listings have no specifications. I still have not been able to find a model number anywhere to look up the part number that way. Since I am now using a 4W LED replacement bulb, it seems as if I should be able to get away with a switch that is rated for 3A, as long as I don't forget at some point in the future and put a regular bulb in.

Today I tried connecting the wires directly and the light does come on, confirming that the switch is NC. I hooked up the old switch with some alligator clips and it still works. I used super glue to repair the broken plastic around one of the terminals and then added some more glue to make sure it is solid. I replaced the female connectors and reinstalled the old switch using some heat shrink to add to the terminal insulation and reinforce the crimp. The light is working now and everything seems to be ok. Before I reinstalled the molding the holds the switch, I left the door open with the light on for an hour to make sure that the switch was not heating up or anything like that.

I would still like to replace the switch. If the one linked to above is good, I can use that. Otherwise I am still looking for a 5A@125VAC SPST NC momentary plunger switch if anyone knows where to get one. It would be nice if sites like RepairClinic had email so I could ask someone.

LMHmedchem
With a 3 amp rated switch you will still be able to use the regular bulb so long as that is the only thing it was controlling. It it controls more than that then you will need to calculate the amperage first, but that’s unlikely.
 

LMHmedchem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
52
Reaction score
2
With a 3 amp rated switch you will still be able to use the regular bulb so long as that is the only thing it was controlling. It it controls more than that then you will need to calculate the amperage first, but that’s unlikely.
I can read the amps in the circuit by disconnecting one wire from a switch terminal and then putting one DMM probe on the disconnected wire and the other on the disconnected terminal. Is that correct?

I will order the 3A switch I linked to above and check the amps before I install it.

LMHmedchem
 

pjones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
283
Reaction score
93
Location
Vancouver Canada BC
I can read the amps in the circuit by disconnecting one wire from a switch terminal and then putting one DMM probe on the disconnected wire and the other on the disconnected terminal. Is that correct?

I will order the 3A switch I linked to above and check the amps before I install it.

LMHmedchem
Yep. Pretty well all DMMs are rated to measure up to 10 amps that way. Some sheep knock off leads may not have that same ampacity rating. The lowest I’ve ever seen a lead rated for was 8 amps so you should be good either way. The odds are with you is what I’m saying. And the odds of something else other than a relay being in that circuit are slim.
 
Top